The dollar exchanged for N402 on Friday at the Bureau De Change segment of the foreign exchange market.
This followed the suspension of sale of forex to the BDC operators in the industry by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria had made a request to the Central Bank of Nigeria to grant it market holidays given the ongoing challenges faced in the local and global economies due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The CBN granted the BDCs two weeks market holiday as requested.
According to the BDC, there had been drastic decline in demand for forex due to the impact of the COVID-19 on the economy, as businesses were down and many people were not travelling.
The naira had also suffered a setback as a result of crude oil price that fell drastically in the international market, which raised speculations among the BDC operators and Nigerians in general.
It would be recalled that the CBN had technically devalued the naira to exchange to the dollar at a N380 uniform rate last week, after market interventions could no longer sustain the exchange rate at N360.
In a notice to the BDC operators and directors, the President, ABCON, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, said the CBN’s approval meant that sales of foreign exchange to BDC were suspended till further notice.
Gwadabe also advised the public not to go into panic buying, hoarding and patronising street traders as the CBN had enough reserves to sustain supplies when the BDC operators would return to business.
A statement said the CBN had also acknowledged the contributions of the BDC operators in promoting stable exchange rate in recent months, despite challenging circumstances facing the forex market due to the drop in crude oil prices.
It stated, “This is to urgently bring to the notices of our members nationwide that following our letter of recommendations to the CBN to grant us market holidays on our bidding days as a proactive and preventive measure on the scourge of the novel COVID-19 epidemic and the ban on all air/land travels, the CBN has granted our request, effective Friday, March 27, 2020.”
“There shall be no market days henceforth for a tentative period of two weeks.”